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Woman Fights To Get Mother Who Contracted COVID-19 Out Of Southwest Side Rehab Facility

CHICAGO (CBS) -- This Mother's Day, a daughter was fighting to bring her mom home from a rehabilitation center after the older woman tested positive for COVID-19.

There are more than 100,000 people living in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities in Illinois. But in the time of COVID-19, many of those folks are increasingly at risk.

As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reported Sunday, the Symphony at Midway at 4437 S. Cicero Ave. has had more than 150 COVID-19 cases and six deaths due to the virus, according to Illinois state numbers.

One of those infected is Diane Norwood. Her daughter said the 63-year-old tested positive last week.

So Trainette Lark said she has been trying to get her mom out of the facility ever since.

"I am terrified," Lark said, adding, "She is not being cared for."

Norwood, a mother of six, checked in at the end of February for physical therapy after complications from diabetes. She tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.

"I don't have a choice. If she stays there, my mom will probably not make it," Lark said.

Lark says her mom was supposed to be getting out this week after being treated for complications from diabetes. But now, since her mom contracted COVID-19, Lark says Symphony officials won't let her go.

"At first it was come get her, then when it turned out she had COVID-19 it was can't get her," Lark said.

Lark says that's not acceptable.

"I feel like they're holding my mom hostage," she said.

Lark said initially, the facility denied that they had any type of outbreak. Signs at the facility now clearly say they are dealing with active COVID-19 cases.

Lark believes her mom contracted the virus while at Symphony.

She said the facility said they won't pick up the phone or return her repeated calls.

"I'm so angry at them people, for how she just called out for help," Lark said.

Lark said she won't stop until she gets her mom out of the Southwest Side facility. She was hoping to have her home by Mother's Day.

"I have never been without my mom, and me and my mom have been through some times in or life. But we still are strong together," Lark said. "We're all we get – me and her."

But Lark is determined after spending her first ever Mother's Day without her mom.

"She ain't going to die, because I'm not going to let her die. I keep telling them at Symphony, and I hope y'all hear me now loud and clear, I told y'all I was coming, and I was going get justice and I'm not stopping," Lark said. "I'm not stopping."

Symphony officials said they have been in regular communication with the patient's family for the past three days. They said a nurse has been assigned to the family to let them know about the anticipated discharge date.

That is because they say they know regular communication is key to the families, and they are doing everything in their power to care for their loved ones at Symphony.

Symphony is certainly not alone in dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier Sunday, ManorCare Health Services of Elk Grove Village sent seven patients out to the hospital out of abundance of caution.

ManorCare officials said they can care for COVID-19 patients in their center under our airborne isolation precautions. But in this case, they chose to send the patients to the hospital.

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